Your Suns Story: Dylan Carey
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Dylan Carey has a rediscovered appreciation of how lucky he had it as a fan.
In fact, he found out the hard way.
Carey describes his Suns fandom as a “roller coaster” – and it has nothing to do with wins or losses.
“When I moved to Arizona in the early ‘90s as a four-year-old, it was a great time to be a fan,” Carey reminisced. “My childhood was highlighted by waiting in line to see The Gorilla, seeing KJ [Kevin Johnson] come out of retirement and being interviewed on local television since I was wearing my Googs’ [Tom Gugliotta] jersey in his return after injury.
“I was at the point where going to games was just another day. Nothing special. I was accustomed to that luxury.”
For Carey, Suns games were always a family event. Even today, when the team takes the floor, it inspires fond memories when he would attend games with his mom, dad and brother as a child.
But when his family moved to Seattle near the turn of the millennium, everything changed.
“When I first thought about it, I was excited to see Gary Payton and the Sonics,” Carey said. “But then my favorite player of all-time, Dan Majerle, signed with the Suns as a free agent not even a month after I left.”
Indeed, Carey wanted it all back.
As soon as the 2001-02 schedule came out, Carey marked every Suns visit to Seattle on the calendar. In the team’s first visit to Key Arena, Carey was fortunate enough to be sitting courtside as the Suns warmed up.
“Not long after I sat down in my white No. 9 Thunder Dan jersey, he [Majerle] looks me in the eyes and passes me the ball,” Carey explained. “My jaw dropped, eyes got huge, and the ball skids across my shoulder. Majerle walks over to me, shakes my hand and signs my hat.
“I was the happiest seventh-grader in the world and I’m not ashamed to admit a tear was shed.”
Carey said that experience helped show him that the players really care about their fans. Rather, that it changed his outlook on professional athletes as a whole and made him even more dedicated to the Suns.
Through the years, Carey became accustomed to going to every possible Suns game when they came to Seattle. He remembers seeing Jake Tsakalidis’ game-winning free throws, Amare Stoudemire’s NBA regular season debut and the years when Steve Nash was at the helm. Aside from the inevitable heckling that comes from wearing the visiting team’s jersey, life was good.
After all, he was able to see his Suns play.
Unfortunately for Carey, when the Sonics moved to Oklahoma City, the fairy tale came to an abrupt halt – that is, until he and his family found an alternative.
“At the time, I didn’t know if I’d ever get to see my hometown team again,” Carey said. “Our only option now is the three-hour drive to Portland when they [the Suns] play the Blazers. We love doing it.”
Their first trip to Portland, however, got off to a rocky start. A severe snowstorm kept he and his brother from seeing the Suns initially.
“But when the Blazers played the Suns in the 2010 NBA Playoffs, my brother and I took the train down,” Carey recalled. “We were decked out in our purple and orange for Game 4.”
Even though the Suns ended up losing that game, it hasn’t deterred Carey and his brother from making the trip multiple times each season.
Carey isn’t being facetious; he already has tickets for the game on November 13, 2013 when the Suns visit the Blazers in Portland.
Chances are he’ll be there in his wedding colors.
“I somehow convinced my wife, Katie, to let me choose the colors of our wedding this past July,” Carey said with a smile. “Obviously, I picked purple and orange!
“I’m still not sure how I got away with that.”